The CIA Burglar Who Went Rogue

The CIA Burglar Who Went Rogue

This Smithsonian magazine article by David Wise, on how the CIA steals secret codes, starts like this — what more do you want?

The six CIA officers were sweating. It was almost noon on a June day in the Middle Eastern capital, already in the 90s outside and even hotter inside the black sedan where the five men and one woman sat jammed in together. Sat and waited.

They had flown in two days earlier for this mission: to break into the embassy of a South Asian country, steal that country’s secret codes and get out without leaving a trace. During months of planning, they had been assured by the local CIA station that the building would be empty at this hour except for one person—a member of the embassy’s diplomatic staff working secretly for the agency.